Friday, September 26, 2008

Going to be Offline for a few weeks maybe a month

Going on a business trip for 6 weeks/ 2 months to Texas and will be out of commincation for maybe three weeks, I will be back later with the next part of "How to Texture Like a Pro", the Black and White line phase. See you then.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Release: Hawker Hurricane Mk. II

This afternoon (Saturday, September 20th. the Hurricane Mk. II went on sale. The sale was preceded by a demonstration by Duke Elliot, it's Creator, and Whitewolfie Mumfuzz. starting with a bombing of a transport ship in the lagoon of the Aeronautica Sim, it was followed by flight demonstrations and check rides. I think this lauch, once again a spur of the moment, was a bit more successful than the last one, and the aircraft itself gained a number of positive reviews as well as brisk first day sales. Thank you all for your support, and Duke thanks you as well.

Josh Noonan of the Second Life Aviation Blog has already written a review of the Hurricane Mk. II

And Zoe Conolly made a VERY nice movie of Duke Demonstrating the aircraft.

Thank you all for a positive day for THI.


How to Texture Like a Pro Part II

The last one in this series may have been a little vague. So with proper instruction in mind I decided to go into more detail. This will be documenting the texturing of a current (yet to be released) THI project, the F4U Corsair.

Here we see the geometry, completed by Creem Pye. The geometry has had the textures on each sculpted prim “regularized’ so that 1.) One map can cover several pieces to hide seams and reduce the amount of work, and 2.) the proportions are made “square” as much as possible to reduce the amount of distortion. Distortion especially on Spheres and irregular shapes is inevitable but if you can make the layout such that it’s evenly distorted it makes the compensation for the distortions easier. The wings are actually two pieces a piece, but the textures are adjusted so that one map will cover both segments. And since the wings are mirrored sculpt maps, layout for the Port Side wing segments will work for the starboard side as well. Anything to save you time texturing is good. This technique works for standard prims as well.

The next step is to place the plans (hopefully the same ones used to create the object in the first place) on a board The plans I obtained had to be modified, in Photoshop to make them cleaner, and more useful for layout. The nest phase was to place it on the board.

One on the board, it was sized and lined up to conform to the size and orientation of the geometry.

Once lined up it was just a simple matter of tracing the panel lines in prims.

Here you can see the opposite side being laid out on the fuselage, since they are single pieces (and therefore single maps) you have to take into account differences between left and right, as well as top and bottom on the wings.

Speaking of the wings, here are the layouts for the panel lines of the wings. As you can see the drawing has more detail than is being used. No prims will be used to denote rivet lines or spot welds because in reality, these details aren’t easily seen on the original aircraft unless you are close enough to touch. However, the panels will pick up oil and fingerprints and can be seen at a distance.

The prims are placed in each direction, front, side, back, top and bottom. With the lines all completed for each area, the piece are then stretched or moved alone a single axis, until they intersect the geometry. The prims are linked together into a “Scaffolding” The scaffolding can now have opacity adjusted or color changed, as is needed to make the next steps easier.

Here is the completed Scaffolding around the Corsair Geometry.

..and from the Underside.

Next step will be the Black and White Stage, stay tuned for Part 3.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

to allow the importation of 3D mesh or imrpove the Prim tools?

..that is the question?

4. Second Life Misc Issues - MISC

SURVEY: vote here if you'd prefer for LL to work on mesh import over improving existing prim modeling tools
Created: 23/Aug/08 10:00 AM Updated: Today 01:19 AM

Description « Hide
hey all - i'm trying to gather resident feedback for an internal LL debate. the question is - do residents want LL to spend more resources on A) allowing mesh import or B) improving existing modeling tools. sorry for the vagueness here - mainly i'm trying for a general feel for resident sentiment.

Description hey all - i'm trying to gather resident feedback for an internal LL debate. the question is - do residents want LL to spend more resources on A) allowing mesh import or B) improving existing modeling tools. sorry for the vagueness here - mainly i'm trying for a general feel for resident sentiment. Show »

All Comments Change History Sort Order:
[ Permlink | « Hide ] Qarl Linden - 23/Aug/08 10:02 AM
see MISC-1495 to vote for the opposite.
[ Show » ] Qarl Linden - 23/Aug/08 10:02 AM see MISC-1495 to vote for the opposite.

Thoughts? I voted to include mesh, so I can put my 18 years of experience in the PC game and Console industry to work.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

And now.. a little video from our Rivals (and friends) at E.B Aeronautica. You may recognize the scenery, as that is where we take our photos. Mifune Thibaud of E.B. Aeronautica showcases the excellent aircraft made by them, celebrating the golden age of Aviation 1920 - 1939. You can tell, Mifune's Machine is better than mine. Look at that gorgeous frame rate, with all th graphic bells and whistles turned on. :-)

Take some time and visit this welcrafted sim, and maybe take a plane up and enjoy the clear skies and low lag of this Sim. Enjoy!


New Updates for the Budget line of planes

FOr those that have thought that I have not given the budget line any love lately, well you maybe right. However, we are announcing that the PF-01 Series (A,B,C, and the Two Place Trainer) as well as the PT-01 Petrel Torpedo Bomber will be getting flight script upgrades as well as now being equipped with VICE as well as CCC and TCS. The flight model is a but more realistic than previous modes, but still retains a lot of its speed and maneuverability from previous versions. It now has a HUD in SL units, so it will show true speed in meters per second as well as the altitude in meters.

If you have purchased one of these in the past 6 months or so, you will get a free update by just rezzing it. For those that purchased earlier, send me a note, with how your plane appears in your inventory, and approximate date of purchase and we will send you a new one. The new versions will also begin to propagate though our Vendor network shortly.

Clear Skies.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Speaking of the THI Hurricane, here is Josh Noonan's Review

From Josh Noonan's Second Life Aviation Blog. coems this:

This is the latest in a line of virtual aircraft from THI and I have to say, this group of builders just keeps getting better and better!

This exquisitely detailed Second Life aircraft includes the following features:

Very realistic textures including the cockpit, state of art flight model including 2 flight modes - "Basic" flight mode is comparable to the flight models of the other THI fighters and most SL airplanes
and "Advanced" flight mode features advanced lift, glide, and drag: drop into a dive at breakneck speeds, gently (or otherwise) stall the plane when moving too slowly, and perform a perfect dead-stick landing.

Thank you Josh.


Spur of the Moment.

The last of the Fist Team takes off in a BF-109E to battle the Prize of having the first THI Hawker Hurricane on the Grid.

The Hawker Hurricane was nearly done. Duke Elliot had put the final touches on the plane and Creem Pye was making sure the scripts worked properly. Since it was a Holiday Weekend, and I in the past had noted company sales were high on Holiday week ends in the U.S. I urged Duke to put the Hurricane out for sale. He had wanted to have a launch party, similar to the one for the P-40, but I explained that such took time to organize… but I knew where people would be dogfighting every weekend.

At 9am, Introductions were made and rules explained.

In Zoe Connally’s Blog she often announces a group dogfight every weekend, usually Sunday mornings. I suggested that we approach the dogfighters, and offer a competition, with the prize being the first official THI Hurricane on the Grid.

Duke Elliott and I arrived at Extropia: Second Skies before 9AM Sunday. The group was small but enthusiastic and it looked like we would have two teams of two fight, and then the top team would fight each other one on one to determine who was the winner and the second member would get a THI Car of their choice. Sounded reasonable and we set out chairs, and picked teams. I rezzed pairs of BF-109E’s, each pair in matching colors and sent them on their way.

Then the troubles began. The Extropia territories are 6 Sims with mostly open sky with a Mid Century Science fiction theme (There is an actual Jetsons apartment tower), and while the sims that border “Second Skies” are clear, the other three sims are densely build up, and would slow a computer down. Also a lot of the builds being residences, while allowing aircraft, do not permit the rezzing of objects by non residents. VICE being a system that is dependant on users ability to generate physical bullets. If you fly over the residences, you then are essentially shooting blanks. Since I rezzed the planes I would occasionally get a “not allowed “message, but he participants wouldn’t.

A furball developes around the Jetson's Apartment Tower.

The first fight lasted about a half hour. And the winners were Whitewolfie Mumfuzz and Indra Vlodovic. We waited to see if we could rustle up a second team, but after 45 minutes of asking, no one was interested, So Whitewolfie and Indra fought each other. And the dogfight lasted for many minutes, possibly closed to an hour, mostly because they participants chose to fight in amongst the apartment towers, spamming me with “not Allowed” messages. Pretty soon, Duke had to log off to attend to family responsibilities, and I climbed aboard my Airship to observe the fight, and occasionally haul one of the participants’ planes out of the apartment towers and send it flying again. When the participants would engage in endless Luffberry circles around the afore mentioned Jetson’s Tower, and spamming me with “not allowed” messages, I told them what the problem was and that to win they had to stay away from the residences.

Sin Trenton goes down in flames

Whitewolfie Mumfuzz

Indra Vlodovic

As soon as they got over clear space closer to the airfield the fight was over in 5 minutes. Conversation and discussion commenced. We waited to grant the prize for when Duke got back online, and so we talked and I rezzed copies of the new Hurricane and “guested” them for people to fly. Josh Noonan arrived and I gave a bit of an impromptu lesson on how to build. Finally Duke returned and the prize was awarded and We congratulated them and closed the proceedings. Zoe was right, the event should have taken more planning. Also the venue is good for recreational flying, but the presence of high prim residences was hell on less than optimal Machines. We learned a lot and will be prepared next time.

Whitewolfie hanging close to the Jetsons Tower until chased ut into the open area.

Indra goes down fighting...

...and ends up taking a hot bath. He won a car tho...

Incidentally the Hurricane was then offered up for sale and a good chunk of the party moved to the new Aeronautica Sim. The Hurricane is now available for sale at Aeronautica, Blacktail Ridge, FlyinTails and soon 1944.

First Prize, awarded to Whitewolfie